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SEVERAL POLITICAL AND HISTORICAL TRACTS
NOT INCLUDED IN ANY FORMER EDITION,
MANY LETTERS OFFICIAL AND PRIVATE
NOT HITHERTO PUBLISHED;
A LIFE OF THE AUTHOR.
BY JARED SPARKS.
CHARLES TAPPAN, PUBLISHER.
ALSTON MY GATT.
Entered according to the act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty, by HILLIARD, GRAY, AND COMPANY, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
PRINTERS TO THE UNIVERSITY.
BY THE EDITOR.
FEW writers have been so regardless of literary reputation as Franklin. Scarcely any of his compositions were published under his own eye; many of them were not written for the press; and the fame of authorship appears rarely to have been among the motives by which he was induced to employ his pen. pen. It is true, that, in early life and afterwards, he cultivated with uncommon assiduity the art of writing, till he attained a mastery over the language, which has raised his name to the first rank in English literature. Yet it was his primary object, not so much to become distinguished by this accomplishment, as to acquire the power of acting on the minds of others, and of communicating, in the most attractive and effectual manner, such discoveries as he might make, and his schemes for the general improvement, the moral culture, the comfort, and happiness of mankind. He seldom affixed his name to any of his writings. They were mostly designed for a particular purpose; and, when they had answered the end for